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How many rostered players were on the ice for opening night 2016-17

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  BIRTHDAYS

Max Labovitch - 1924
Jere Gillis - 1957
Mike Blaisdell - 1960
Mark Messier - 1961
Dean Kennedy - 1963
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Ruslan Fedotenko - 1979
Jason Labarbera - 1980

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JASON DOIG
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A Look At The Draft
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ - June 8, 2007

by Joe Tucc.

The 2007 NHL entry draft is just days away. This year draft will take place at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio. For the New York Rangers they have their usual middle of the round position. Last year they choose 21st overall, this year they move up four spots and will choose 17th overall. This draft, similar to last years is top heavy, but doesn�t feature the can�t miss prospects of last year like Jonathan Toews, Phil Kessel, Erik Johnson, Jordan Staal, or Niklas Backstrom. In fact if you could enter some of the 6-10 ranked prospects from last seasons draft like Peter Mueller or Kyle Okposo and they might very well be higher rated than any of the top 3 from '07's class. Now the point of this is not to bash the '07 draft class, but to rather point out this years class differs from last years class in potential top line talent, but is fairly deeper with potential 2nd, 3rd and 4th line talent. So while there are a lot of question marks surrounding the top of the class, there is still some great players coming out.

This year's class features a top five of Patrick Kane, Kyle Turris, James van Reimsdyk, Jakob Voracek, and Alex Cherepanov. All incredibly talented players in their own rights, but not in the same caliber as last year�s class. Now it is almost certain that none of the aforementioned players will be available when it comes time for the Rangers to choose, but that doesn�t mean that there aren�t players available that won�t be able to impact this team sometime down the road. Now providing that the Rangers do not trade up in this particular draft, here is a quick look at eight draft eligibles that may be Ranger property on June 22nd.

In no particular order, here are the players and scouting reports on them based on information I compiled from a combination of Redline Report, International Scouting Services, and Hockey�s Future.

Colton Gillies - Saskatoon
Position: Center
Height: 6'03"
Weight: 185
- Very good skating ability
- Not Flashy
- Dangerous player on the forecheck
- Drives hard to the net
- Questionable hands

Gillies will be a player that teams can be assured of playing in the league for a long time. The number one attraction for this player is his combination of his outstanding size and skill. He's not a flashy offensive player, but has shown increased confidence with the puck as the year went on. Unproven offensive production is a concern however with his solid overall package, he continues to be a favorite of ISS

The knock on Gillies is if he can't score in the WHL, how can he score at the NHL level? Other than his lack of scoring, he is a very strong prospect. Granted the big kids usually take a little longer to develop. Although he was ranked in the top 12 in some guides, he might be available come the Rangers turn to pick. Has been compared to Trevor Linden, or Chad Kilger. Colton is the nephew of Ex-Islander and Hall of Famer Clark Gillies.

Nick Petrecki - Omaha
Position: Defense
Height: 6'03"
Wieght: 213
- Big, strong, very intimidating
- Very good shot
- A physical presence
- Good upper body strenght
- Good skater with mobility

Does everything hard- passes, shooting, finishing checks. Has good positioning vs the rush, does a nice job taking away the middle of the ice. He shoots the puck like a pro via bullet wrist shot and gets his shot through. He as well displays general nastiness that is indeed impressive and as a result it allows him to gain extra space�meaning he isn�t afraid to drop the mitts to defend himself or his teammates

Style compares to Brendan Witt

Lars Eller - Frohlunda HC Jr.
Position: LW
Height: 6'03"
Weight: 195
- Excellent puck skills
- Very good shot
- Good vision
- Soft hands
There is a lot of interest in this skilled Danish winger and rightfully so. While most NHL scouts were gearing up for the WJC in Sweden, more than a few could be seen at the World Junior U20 Championship Group A in Odense, Denmark. Eller impressed scouts with his speed and skill. Finished with 7 points in 5 games. One area Eller must improve is his play along the boards.

Eller was one of the best overall conditioned athletes at last weekends draft combine in Toronto. He has been ranked anywhere from 10th-30th from different draft guides.

Kevin Shattenkirk - USA U-18
Position: Defense
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 193
-Effortless skater with acceleration
-Great anticipation
-Strong on stick
-Good rushing defenseman
Shattenkirk encompasses all the that will surely make him a successful professional. His skating, shot, puck handling, hockey sense are first-rate. He is a smart and efficient decision-maker and has demonstrated his ability to carry or pass the puck out of the defensive zone with ease. His offensive tendencies can create some defensive concerns, but his foot speed allows him to recover most of the time.

One of the best pure skaters in the draft.

Style compares to Brian Campbell

Brandon Sutter - Red Deer
Position: Center
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 170
-Offensively gifted
-Great passer
-Good Skater
-Two-way player
Sutter has great bloodlines. He is coached by his father. Not a flashy player. Works hard at both ends of the rink. Makes simple but effective plays. Improvement in first couple of steps would improve skating. Is heavily relied upon in all situations. Has good size, but is light. Is still dominant. With some more physical maturity, he will be able to play at the next level. Well-above-average hockey sense.

Sutter obviously comes from a longline of NHL players and he is sconsidered one of th safest picks in this years draft. He may not ever play in an NHL all-star game, but has all the tools to become successful at the professional level.

Joakim Andersson - Frolunda
Position - Center
Height - 6'02"
Weight- 198
- Power foward
- Strong on faceoffs*
- Protects puck well
- Strong play in all 3 zones
- Drives the net hard
A solid two-way center. Not a finesse player, but plays simple and makes god decisions. Plays the physical game well. Creates space for his linemates. Great around the boards, wins alot of 1-on-1 battles. His play this season has earned him the admiration of the scouting community and a steady rise up ISS rankings.

Akim Aliu - Sudbury Wolves
Position: RW
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 207
- Big and strong, very intimidating
- Extremely hard to move off the puck
- A force in front of the net
- Has good puck skills and has a quick stick in close, can and will score.
- Will challenge anyone, a physical presence
- Not well liked among his peers.

Aliu has all the tools to become a productive power foward at the next level. Powerful skating stride- gets in on the forecheck. Pro-shot - quick release. Despite hearing all the negative press and stigma that follows him around, Aliu's skill set and physical package is very intriguing and undeniable.
On a side note on Aliu, he was almost kicked off the Sudbury team at one point. Lot's of "hazing" incidents in Jr hockey, and supposedly Aliu didn't like to be a part of them. He got into it with Downie(who was the captain or ass captain) and they dropped the mitts in practice. For anyone that deosn't know Downie, you will in a few seasons. He was drafted by the Flyers, and is the next Darcy Tucker/Sean Avery. Aliu and him didn't get along, and Aliu let him know. Aliu's favorite team is the Rangers.

Aliu was recently traded from Sudbury to London Knights. The same team as Pat Kane, and Gagner who are both slotted to go in the top 10 this season. If he plays on a line with either of them, look for his production to skyrocket! If the Nigerian born Aliu can curb his appetite for being the local �bad boy� he could very well be the steal of the 1st or 2nd round.

He compares to Shane Corson

Bill Sweatt - USA U-18
Position: LW
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 180
- Very good speed
- Tremendous job on the PK
- Hard on the forecheck
- Impressed with his work ethic

Not a flashy player, but certainly a player who has some skill and is willing to work hard in the battle areas. Sweatt represented the United States in the 2007 IIHF U-20 World Jr Championships in Sweden, helping the Americans win a bronze medal. Sweatt posses soft hands and is very smart with his decisions with the puck.

Fastest skater in the 2007 draft. Redline report, and McKeens both have him in the top 15 I believe. Orignally listed as a safe-pick, but has turned his game up a notch, and many consider him To be worthy of top 15 honors�coincidentally other draft guides have him listed as far back as the early to mid 2nd rounds.

Most will agree though Sweatt is much like Sutter where he will be one of the safer plays in the 07 draft.


Profile of the Author:
Has been an active follower of the New York Rangers since the 1996-97 season. Began OutsideTheGarden.com in 2001, and has continued to collect data and provide analysis on the team through to the current day.

 Additional stories from Toby Ivey:


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